Discover the Magic of Christmas in Sarajevo

Christmas in Sarajevo

The holiday season is always a magical time of year. There’s something about the twinkling lights, the smell of gingerbread cookies, and the sound of carolers that makes everything feel just a little bit more festive. But have you ever wondered what Christmas is like in other parts of the world? Well, I’ve got a story to tell you about Christmas in Sarajevo.

First of all, let’s talk about Sarajevo. If you’re not familiar, Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a beautiful country in southeastern Europe. It’s a city with a rich history and a fascinating culture, and it’s definitely worth a visit any time of year. But during the holidays, Sarajevo transforms into something truly special.

Christmas in Sarajevo

The story of Christmas in Sarajevo really begins with a song. You may have heard of it before – it’s called “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It’s a beautiful instrumental piece that combines elements of classical music, rock, and even a little bit of heavy metal. And it all started with a man named Bob Kinkel.

Bob Kinkel was the musical director for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and in 1995 he found himself in Sarajevo during the height of the Bosnian War. The city was under siege, and the people were suffering. But even in the midst of all that darkness, Kinkel was struck by the resilience and determination of the people of Sarajevo.

One night, as he was walking through the city, Kinkel heard the sound of a lone cellist playing a beautiful melody in the streets. He was so moved by the music and the spirit of the people that he knew he had to do something to help. And that’s when he came up with the idea for “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.”

Christmas in Sarajevo

The song itself is a tribute to the people of Sarajevo and their incredible strength in the face of adversity. It’s become something of an anthem for the city, and every year during the holiday season, you can hear it playing in cafes, shops, and even on the streets.

But the real magic of Christmas in Sarajevo isn’t just about the music. It’s about the people. Despite the hardships they’ve faced, the people of Sarajevo are some of the warmest, most welcoming people you’ll ever meet. During the holidays, the city comes alive with festive decorations, delicious food, and lots and lots of rakija (a traditional Balkan spirit).

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One of the most popular holiday traditions in Sarajevo is the Christmas market, which takes place in the city’s Old Town. Here you’ll find stalls selling all kinds of goodies, from handmade crafts to roasted chestnuts to mulled wine. And of course, there’s plenty of music and dancing to be had as well.

Christmas in Sarajevo

If you’re lucky enough to be in Sarajevo on Christmas Eve, you might even get to witness a unique local tradition. At midnight, the people of Sarajevo gather in the streets to light candles and sing carols. It’s a truly magical sight and one that will stay with you forever.

In conclusion, Christmas in Sarajevo is something truly special. It’s a time when the city comes together to celebrate the season and to remember the resilience of its people. From the music to the food to the traditions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re ever looking for a holiday destination that’s a little bit off the beaten path, I highly recommend giving Sarajevo a try.


Q: Is it safe to visit Sarajevo during the holidays?

A: Yes, Sarajevo is a safe city to visit, even during the holidays. While it’s always important to exercise caution when traveling to a new place, Sarajevo is generally considered to be a safe destination for tourists. However, it’s always a good idea to check the latest travel advisories from your home country’s government before making any travel plans.

Q: What kind of food can I expect to find in Sarajevo during the holidays?

A: Sarajevo has a rich culinary tradition, and you can expect to find all kinds of delicious food during the holidays. Some traditional dishes include cevapi (grilled meat), burek (a savory pastry filled with cheese or meat), and sarma (cabbage rolls filled with rice and meat). And of course, there will be plenty of sweet treats like baklava and kadaif.

Q: What’s the weather like in Sarajevo during the holidays?

A: Sarajevo can get quite cold during the winter, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. So be sure to pack warm clothes, including a hat, gloves, and a heavy coat.

Q: Are there any other holiday traditions in Sarajevo besides the Christmas market and candle lighting?

A: Yes, there are many other holiday traditions in Sarajevo. For example, on New Year’s Eve, it’s traditional to gather in the streets and light fireworks at midnight. And on Orthodox Christmas (which falls on January 7th), there are often special church services and celebrations throughout the city.

Q: Can I visit Sarajevo at other times of the year?

A: Absolutely! Sarajevo is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture, and there’s always something to see and do. Some popular attractions include the historic Bascarsija neighborhood, the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum (which tells the story of the city during the Bosnian War), and the beautiful Vrelo Bosne Park.

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